Monday, 27 January 2014

Which comes first?

It's the perennial chicken and egg situation.  Sometimes, you want to make something but don't have all the stuff you need.   Sometimes it's the opposite - you have rather a lot of stuff that needs using it up.

While I don't usually have any problems giving away surplus produce or using up leftovers, I recently experienced this situation in the wool department.  And it was my own fault.

One of my local wool shops had this yarn on special because there were only three 100 gram skeins left.

It looked lovely (just LOOK at those lush colours!) and it felt divine - so soft and silky.  So I bought all three 100 gram skeins of it because - well, just because I couldn't resist.

As you can see, it is called Misti Baby Me Boo (a baby alpaca, merino and bamboo mix) in Crazy Lace Agate.

But then the question arose . . . Now What Do I Do With It?

It turns out to be a TRICKY yarn.  After starting off a simple scarf, I began to think it looked it looked a bit 'too much.'  Truth be told, I thought it looked like a mess!

So I unravelled it and pondered some more.

I realised I would have to be very careful about how I used this yarn.  It turns out to be a rustic 'homespun' style of yarn with an unusual thick/thin ply that varies from 4 to 10 ply equivalent (fingering to aran), despite the label saying it should work up as what Americans term 'worsted' (which I understand to mean somewhere between 8 ply and 10 ply in Australian terms).

You can see the unusual thick-thin effect below, which shows a simple starting chain together with a few lengths of the yarn:

You get the idea.  It's consistently inconsistent, if you know what I mean.

After a few false starts I figured that a fancy pattern would be likely to way too 'busy', so I cast about for something that was simple and made in the round.

My eye fell on this mobius cowl, which comes from a Swedish blog called 'Odd Crochet Patterns' (the patterns are translated into English).  [Just as an aside, for a while now I have been looking at making a rug using the off-centre granny square pattern on the same blog]. 

This mobius cowl pattern is simply trebles and a fancy border.  The twist of the mobius means that there is no need to turn your work, you just continue working 'in the round'.  The pattern has good pictorial instructions on how to make the twist.  I used a 6 mm hook for the starting chain, and a 5 mm hook for the remainder.

I did my own simple border by dc-ing (sc-ing) along the edge.  The yarn's fluctuating ply created a gently wavy edge.

The properties of this yarn give the finished garment a lovely drape.

Here it is worn wrapped around twice, like a cowl . . . .

and with part of it pulled up as a hood.  The rest of the garment keeps the hood in place.

All in all, I am very pleased with the result - particularly given the trickiness of the yarn - and the simplicity of the stitching seems to showcase the loveliness of the yarn.  

Sometimes, simple is best.


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